James Patrick Griffith, a McMurtry College alum, passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 27. Griffith, known by his friends as “JP,” was training to become a flight instructor when he was involved in a plane crash near Denver. A Denver native, Griffith is survived by his parents, Bill and Emma, and siblings Gracie and Griff.

“James Patrick Griffith inspired me and many other not to take life too seriously, while keeping in sight one’s true objective in life: to be happy."

Griffith graduated in 2016 with a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering and a minor in business. Griffith’s myriad of interests went beyond the classroom. He is remembered by close friends as fun-loving, intrepid and above all passionate.

Kyle Giubbini (McMurtry ’16), recalled a few of Griffith’s varied interests as the outdoors, climbing, kayaking, scuba, flying, brewing, photography and filmmaking. Most of all, Giubbini said, Griffith cared about people.

“[It] made him seem invincible, [and] convinced you that anything was possible and I think he truly believed that he could accomplish anything he tried,” Giubbini said. “I think he wanted the people around him to feel the same way. Like they could do anything, they could live without fear, and just chase their dreams without worrying about failure or what other people thought.”

Fellow McMurtry alumnus and friend Will Eldridge (’16) said Griffith had an ability to truly influence the lives of others.

“JP will be remembered as an individual who brought happiness and excitement to others,” Eldridge said. “People loved being around JP and will always cherish the beautiful impact he had on their lives. Four years with JP helped me approach life with fewer worries and more hopes. Perhaps even more importantly, he taught me the importance of good beer.”

Cesar Udave (McMurtry ’16) said he will never stop celebrating Griffith’s life.

“James Patrick Griffith inspired me and many other not to take life too seriously, while keeping in sight one’s true objective in life: to be happy,” Udave said. “His positive energy, contagious smile and strong inclination for adventure collectively manifested a purpose for obtaining happiness in life. The guy who taught a brewing class at Rice, mapped out the entire steam tunnels, slept on the side of mountains during his arduous hikes, pursued his dream of becoming a pilot, kayaked along brutal waters and never turned down an adventure is no longer with us, but the impact he left on many of his classmates friends, and family will forever remain.”

Eldridge, Giubbini and Charlie Greulich (McMurtry ‘16) collectively wrote a eulogy in which they described Griffith’s aspirations to become a pilot.

“[He would be] flying around the U.S., stopping at his favorite national parks and breweries. With his incredible intelligence and drive, JP would’ve made an amazing pilot and so much more.”

Services for Griffith were held on March 4 in Denver, Colorado. Contributions may be made to Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, www.14ers.org.